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BP All Over Again: Indiana To Allow Increase In U.S. Steel Dumping?

SewagemonsterHere we go again? (Hat tip, kind reader.)

"Indiana is moving to scrap, relax or omit limits on toxic chemicals and heavy metals dumped into a Lake Michigan tributary by the sprawling U.S. Steel Corp. mill in Gary, according to environmental lawyers and former federal regulators who have reviewed a proposed water permit.

"Language outlining the changes is buried in 117 densely worded pages under consideration by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, which provoked a public outcry this year when it gave a nearby BP refinery permission to significantly increase pollution discharged into the lake.

"BP explicitly asked to dump more pollution. By contrast, Indiana regulators and U.S. Steel officials insist the latest proposal will not allow the Gary Works to increase the amount of oil, grease, metals and chemicals pumped into the Grand Calumet River before it empties into Lake Michigan.

"The permit appears to tell a different story, raising questions about Indiana's enforcement of federal and state laws intended to clean up the nation's lakes and rivers."


IDEM: 'No urgency'

A $1 million study intended to help figure out how to lower the level of mercury in the Grand Calumet River is still not complete, at least three years after the state's original deadline.


The EPA is looking into it:


It amazes me that the folks at IDEM don't appear to have learned much from the BP Whiting debacle.

If you want to do something like this, you need to (a) be honest about it; (b) help people understand why it's necessary; and (c) not act like cats caught with half-eaten canaries when someone -- like the Chicago Tribune, for example -- calls you with questions.

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